February 1, 2014 - Seedling Saturday and January Journal

Seedling Saturday

 Friday night I made six Mokum and six Sugar Snax carrot seed mats, with 30 seeds at 2" spacing (180 seeds per variety, 360 seeds total).  Of course, these won't be planted for another 2 1/2 months, but I was bored.

 Black Seeded Simpson lettuce seedlings.  I'll try to grow these indoors.  I've not had much luck doing this in the past, but "If at first you don't succeed......"  LOL!

 Walla Walla, Copra and Red Grano onion seedlings in various stages of growth.  These (and the lettuce seedlings) will soon be moved out to the garden shed, where it will be much cooler for them.  I need to buy a couple more lights before I can move them out.

The KFC Go Cups are working great for tomatoes!  These are Mini Gold, which I plan to try to grow to fruiting inside.  I did that a few years ago, with pretty good success.

January Journal

1/4  Ordered seeds from Fedco.  Arrived 1/21

1/6  Planted one pot Red Sails lettuce and one pot Wild Garden Mix lettuce.  Placed in plant window.  All RS seeds germinated within 3 days. WGM had just one seed germinate by 1/9, a second one emerged 1/15 and a third on 1/19.  These plants were thinned to one in each pot and grown on windowsill (outside on sunny days).  1/18 accidentally broke stem on RS while watering.  Pushed soil up around break, will see if it survives.  1/22 broken RS plant is thriving.

1/9  Planted one KFC container with 4 Mini Gold tomato seeds.  Plan on growing them to the fruiting stage inside. #1 germinated 1/14. #2 germinated 1/15.   1/31 growing well and looking healthy.

1/14  Planted seed mat of 120 Red Grano onion seeds in plastic shoebox. Germination began 1/18 (4 days).  Germination rate excellent. Gave first trim 1/27.

1/15  Set up seed starting shelves in laundry room.  Got lettuce and tomato seedlings under lights, onion seeds on rope light to germinate.

1/18  Planted seed mat of 100 Red Grano onion seeds in plastic shoebox. Warm in laundry room under lights, will not use rope light for bottom heat. Germination began 1/22 (4 days).  Germination rate excellent. Gave first trim 1/31.

1/21  Planted long container, 20 seeds, of Black Seeded Simpson for growing under lights.  Germination began 1/24 (3 days).  Thinned to 10 strongest.

1/22  Planted seed mats of 100 (each) Walla Walla and Copra onion seeds in plastic shoeboxes. Copra germinated 1/27 (5 days). WW germinated 1/28 (6 days).  Germination rate excellent for both varieties.

1/23  Planted 4" pot of parsley.  Very old seed.

1/25  Planted seed mats of 100 (each) Walla Walla and Copra onion seeds in plastic shoeboxes. Copra germinated 1/30 (5 days). WW germinated 1/31 (6 days). Germination rate excellent for both varieties.

1/31  Made six Mokum and six Sugar Snax carrot seed mats, 30 seeds @ 2" spacing (180 seeds per variety).

January 26, 2014 - Three-quarters of a Century!

Thank you to my boys, John, Scott and grandson Kevin, for the 75th. birthday wishes, and thank you Bryan, Amy, Alicyn, Alicia and Amaya for the beautiful roses!   I love you.

January 21, 2014 - Seed Order Arrives!

My Fedco seed order arrived today!  Everything came except the Calypso cucumbers, which were sold out.  I'm not unhappy about that though, as a new packet of pickling cucumbers from Mike the Gardener also arrived in today's mail.

Germination looks to be very good for the 120 Red Grano onion seeds, planted one week ago today.  I planted another container of 100 seeds 3 days ago, and I see one or two popping up today.  Soon I will by planting both Walla Walla and Copra, so one grow shelf will probably be filled with baby onions.

January 20, 2014 - Harvest Monday

My first harvest of 2014!  At 6/10 oz., it's the first Happy Yummy sweet pepper to ripen on the plant I brought inside in October.  I had it on my salad the day it was picked.  It was good, but not nearly as sweet as those grown outside in the warm sunshine.

Visit Daphne's Dandelions to see who else had a harvest last week!

January 19, 2014 - They Did It!!!

Seahawks superfan.

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks!  The family Superbowl party will be held at Mr. & Mrs. Granny's.  

January 16, 2014 - Happy Sixth Birthday to Annie and Otto!

Annie and Otto:  Their 1st. Year

 In April of 2008, I chose Annie and Otto from this litter, born 1/16/08.  Annie is in the front, Otto at the right rear of the photo.  I started out to buy a little girl dog, and already had her name picked out.  On my way to pick her up, Mr. Granny called me on the cell phone and said he wanted a little boy dog, and he was going to name him Otto.  So we ended up with two puppies!  We didn't know at the time that Annie's mother was also named Annie (Princess Anne) and Otto's grandfather was also named Otto!

 They fit very comfortably in one small dog bed.

 Or on granddaughter Alicia's tummy.

 They played with grandson Kevin.

 We called Otto "Devil Dog" when he played with Annie!  He just looked vicious, he was, and still is, a real pussycat.

 Leash training didn't work out too well with them.

 They much preferred sleeping.

 And sleeping.

 Annie liked helping with the dishes.

 "Get that camera out of my face!"

 Otto, watching football in his and Mr. Granny's man room.

 And sleeping.

 Oh no, Granny.  You wouldn't make me wear this.

 Does this sweater make my butt look big?

 The biggest laugh they ever gave us was when Otto chewed a hole in their doggy bed and Annie came walking down the hallway wearing it like a ball gown!  

"Aren't I beautiful?"   :-D

Annie's first trip down to our AZ home.  I guess the drive made her tired, because she slept.

 And slept.

 But they soon got used to Arizona, and were very happy there.

Their 1st. Birthday, January 16, 2009

 Annie just couldn't keep her cupcake on the napkin....

so they got sent down to the floor.

Happy birthday Annie and Otto!  You've given us six years of love, laughter and happiness.

January 15, 2014 - Spring Prep Continues

For the past two years I've set up my seedling growing shelves in the bedroom, in front of the window.  This year I had to find another place for it.  My little Annie dog has not been well, and it is very difficult for her to jump onto her step stool and onto the bed, so Son John made her a carpet covered ramp.  It works great for her, and now I don't have to worry that she'll hurt herself by jumping, but it does take up a good amount of room.  That would normally not be a problem, but it would be a really tight fit to try to get the grow shelves set up there.  I don't think there would be room to squeeze through to make the bed.

This is where the shelves went before Annie's ramp was added to the left side of the bed.

Now Annie's ramp takes precedence.

There just wasn't another place in this house where I could set up those grow shelves.  Except.....the laundry room!  I had to get Mr. Granny to help me move the freezer out to the garage, and in its place I set up the shelves.

 And here they are!  

Boy, was that a job.  Empty the freezer, move the freezer out to the garage, carry all the frozen food out and put it back in the freezer, move all the butternut squash off of the shelves, move the shelves from the garage to the laundry room, clean the floor where the freezer had been sitting, take down the little wall shelf that was above the freezer, set up the shelves, spend an entire afternoon adjusting shelves to get them just right, pull the four shop lights out from under the bed where they'd been stored all summer and winter, wipe the dust from the shelves and the lights, run to Walmart for "S" hooks to hang lights because I couldn't find where I put the ones from last year, go to the shed and look for a chain to hang the lights because one was missing, go back to the shed for another chain because I can't count, hang the lights, start putting things on the shelves, zip tie a rope light to a shelf for keeping seeds warm, zip tie all the dangling cords together, find a power strip to plug them into, cut a piece of plastic to fit the bottom shelf so I can slide my breadmaker in easily (for storage, not baking).

 The top shelf now holds my seeds and seed starting thingies, along with egg shells that are drying.

 The next two shelves have the four shop lights and lots of room for seedling flats.

 The next shelf has the rope light for keeping seeds warm until they germinate.  It should have two rope lights to cover the entire shelf, but one of them was dead, so I'm going to try to get by with just one.  I also have an old heating pad I can use if needed.

 The bottom shelf is covered with a sheet of rigid plastic, the only place I have to keep my breadmaker stored when I'm not using it.  There's plenty of room for stacking the rest of the containers that I'll be needing for seed starting.

The seed starting shelves looked so neat and tidy, I thought I'd tackle the shelf over the washer and dryer, where I keep all the cleaning supplies and miscellaneous items.  Back to Walmart for three plastic containers to hold all the liquids.  That cleared up enough room for a box of light bulbs, the ice cream maker (that may get moved to the shelf with the breadmaker) and our family party supplies...paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery and plastic cups.

 The shelves that hold the laundry supplies and cleaning rags had to be moved across the room, but  luckily it fit just perfect there.  This is where I did have my mop, broom and step stool hanging, so the mop and broom went into the hall closet with the vacuum cleaner, and the step stool was tucked away neatly behind the seed starting shelves.

Oh.......see what I spotted today!  I have a ripe Happy Yummy sweet pepper that I'll be picking to add to my salad tomorrow.  It will be my first harvest of 2014!

January 14, 2014 - Six Steps Toward Spring

I suppose our daytime temperatures will take another plunge, but these past few days have given us temperatures in the fifties.  In fact, it actually got up to 57F today, the sun was shining and the wind finally stopped blowing.  FINALLY.  We had a couple of days when the wind blew steadily at 35-45 MPH, with gusts of 65-70 MPH.  At least my neighbors naked trees didn't drop any branches on me, but I had another big pine tree mess to clean up in the front yard.  I raked everything into a pile today, and Mr. Granny scooped it all into containers for the garbage collector.  I guess he didn't want me to do another face plant on the driveway while trying to roll the big, heavy garbage can around!

Anyway, the warmth and sunshine put me in the mood for spring planting, so I...................

 1. Used my hot glue gun (sans glue stick) to melt drainage holes in the bottoms of plastic shoe boxes.  2. Made onion seed mats from paper napkins cut to fit inside the shoe boxes.

3. Glued 120 red onion seeds on one mat, and 100 seeds on the second mat.  4. Planted the first mat in some good potting mix, covered it with a clear plastic shower cap, and set the second mat aside to plant later.  The shoe box lid works well as a tray under the container.

4. I had extra potting mix left in the bucket, so I made up a few soil blocks.  I'll let them dry out, then re-hydrate them when I'm ready to plant seeds in them.  The plastic shoe box, with drainage holes in the bottom, holds 21 of these round plugs.  The container is small enough to set in a sink of tepid water to re-hydrate them. I used my homemade soil block maker, directions can be found HERE.

5. The next chore was to go out to the garden shed and find the old seed box, then get the dust cleaned off of it.

6. The final chore for the day was to get the seed box organized and ready for all the new seeds I ordered, as well as those I already had on hand.  Besides using tabbed dividers, I also cut the flaps off of envelopes so I can easily slip the seed packages in them.  That way I can pull out the entire envelope and (hopefully) not end up sticking packets back where they don't belong.  I used the red plastic boxes for the larger seeds.

Now I'm six steps closer to spring!